Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Marc Silvestri
Artist: Sumeyye Kesgin
Release Date: 13th August 2014
Marc Silvestri’s latest book at Top Cow continues with a quick recap telling us the backstory of Asa, a boy from the magical world of Rune, where he reads comics and wishes his life was full of adventure. He apparently got his wish – a prank goes wrong and he ends up stealing something called the orb from a bad guy, before travelling through a portal to our world, landing in Times Square where he meets a spunky thief called April, who joins him in a quest to save New York from bad magic and something something.
It’s interesting to see Silvestri take on this kind of urban magic storyline, and his team of collaborators (each book is split into chapters, allowing different artists to take the lead, and, presumably, get the books out quicker) each bring their own style to the piece, although by and large those styles are sympathetic to each other. Kesgin’s opening chapter works better for me than Valentino’s art, but there’s not much in it, and colourist Betsy Gonia holds everything together.
The story itself is kinda weak – it’s sub-Gaiman or Willingham fantasy, filled with orbs, ogres and flying rugs, and most of the issue is taken up with a fight in a supermarket which, while kinetic and occasionally funny (see the licking the frog part), it feels a lot like we’ve seen this before. Three issues in and Asa is apparently still dealing with problems such as thinking he can make a phone call home with walnuts: I don’t fancy his chances much if he hasn’t yet worked out that Earth is not full of magical delights.
Probably the weakest parts are the myth-making – magical orbs, terrible punning with characters called Talis-Men, and a series of antagonists that feel fairly flimsy and one-dimensional don’t draw you in the way we might expect by the third issue. Yet it’s fun and has it’s moments, so might be worth picking up if you’re a fan of this genre, or if you want to see what Silvestri’s up to these days.
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